In the bottom of the first inning on Thursday night at Fenway Park, Bay clubbed one to deep right-center. He thought Alex Rios had caught the ball in front of the short wall that serves as the front of the Red Sox's bullpen.
Instead, Rios didn't get back in time, and the ball landed on top of the wall, then took a large bounce over the bullpen and into the bleachers.
Bay's past 11 home runs have all been hit with at least one man on base. That set a Red Sox record and moved him within one of tying a Major League record. This, on a night the Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays with a 5-1 victory.
"You can't do it without guys getting on," said Bay. "I can't do it on my own. That's just one of those stats that they find that makes you look good because who would have ever thought that? It's not something you're trying to do. It just kind of happens."
Jason Bay's past 11 home runs have all come with at least one man on base, establishing a Red Sox record. He is one away from tying Ken Griffey Jr. (1999) and Hank Aaron (1970) for the Major League record. Here is a breakdown of the streak.
|May 20||Blue Jays||Two-run|
|May 21||Blue Jays||Two-run|
Entering the night, Bay was tied with teammate Kevin Youkilis (2008) and the late Tony Conigliaro (1966) for the team record of 10 multi-run homers in a row.
If Bay's next home run is a multirun job, he will tie Ken Griffey Jr. (1990) and Hank Aaron (1970) for the all-time lead in that category.
Chili Davis (1993), Leon Durham (1984), Hank Greenberg (1933), Bob Meusel (1925) and Jimmy Bannon (1894) all bashed 11 multirun homers in a row. The Red Sox credited David Vincent from the Society of American Baseball Research for all of that information.
Bay has 13 homers on the season, placing him second to Carlos Pena in the American League.
This long ball kind of sneaked up on him.
"I honestly thought he caught it," said Bay. "It was a little bright back there, and I heard the roar of the crowd and then I thought he didn't catch it. I really didn't see much else until I saw the replay. It was 50-50. It wasn't one when right when I hit it, I was like, 'Oh, that's gone.' Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good."
Bay has created plenty of his own luck this season, serving as a force in the middle of the Boston batting order.
"For right-handed hitters, hitting the ball in the bullpen is not an easy thing to do," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He's driven some balls. I know where that ball hit, but to hit it that far, he's got some strong wrists on him. I also think if you do it a few times, and you start getting some confidence, I think that feeds into it, too."
Along with the homers, Bay is hitting .301 with 44 RBIs.
It was the second night in a row a Red Sox player established a club record. In Wednesday's win, Jacoby Ellsbury made 12 putouts in an 8-3 win, the most by any Boston outfielder. Ellsbury tied a Major League record.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.